The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace. Key updates would include, for example, a clarification that sex-based harassment does encompass sexual orientation, gender identity, and reproductive decisions, while revisions also take into consideration changes in the workplace (e.g., remote work) and technology. While none of this is final, it does seem consistent with the EEOC’s recent and long-term stances on these and other topics, not to mention recent caselaw (e.g., Bostock v. Clayton County).
Business Takeaway: While still just a proposal, it does offer some practical takeaways for employers to consider even now—for instance, EEOC’s guidance on drafting an effective anti-harassment policy. It also bears noting that, on a few of these topics, EEOC is simply formalizing their guidance relative to existing law and/or best practices (i.e., this is not the same as the rulemaking process). Contact us if you have questions regarding harassment in the workplace, or if you would like to review existing (or draft new) workplace policies.